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11 Intriguing Business Development Ideas for Financial Professionals to Start 2021 Off Right

Steve Seid & Kurt Dupuis
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The Whole Truth Podcast Episode 20

Steve Seid:
And welcome everybody to The Whole Truth from the Bay Area, California. I am Steve Seid.

Kurt Dupuis:
And from Atlanta, Georgia, I'm Kurt Dupuis.

Steve Seid:
How are you doing my friend Kurt?

Kurt Dupuis:
I am doing pretty darn well.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
I've already given you my “finer than frog hair”, which my grandpa used to say, but whatever another Southern idiom is for doing well, I am doing that.

Disclosure:
The views expressed here are those of the participants and not those of Touchstone Investments.

Steve Seid:
If I had to give a theme last year, we spent a lot of time on client service. We'll continue to do that, but I don't know. I kind of think 2021 might be the year of business development for us. Am I crazy in thinking that?

Kurt Dupuis:
So far, it's looking that way, when we survey the community, just generally, business development, growing your practice it seems to be like public enemy number one, right? That's what generally is the most sought after topic. I think we've got some good stuff coming your way.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. So we'll call this business development concepts or ideas part one, and there'll be multiple. And so what we're going to do in this first segment is Kurt and I are going to kick around three ideas. Each there'll be more down the road, as I just mentioned. And then later on we'll, we'll bring in a gentleman by the name of Bill Diehl.

Kurt Dupuis:
The Real Deal.

Steve Seid:
The real deal Bill Diehl who's a member of our community.

Kurt Dupuis:
He's a character, man.

Steve Seid:
He's a fun guy, man. I like that guy. He's one of those guys that doesn't have a mean bone in his body. You can't even picture the guy getting mad.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's genuine.

Steve Seid:
Just a genuine-

Kurt Dupuis:
He just seems like a genuinely nice Midwestern dude.

Steve Seid:
So, I should say he's in our sister company, in our annuity distribution. One of the things that he focuses on is bringing business development ideas to his clients and he said, "Hey, I'd love to come on and talk to you about that." So we said, "Great." He has a list of five ideas and Kurt and I rated them. I don't think we were brutal. I think we were pretty nice.

Kurt Dupuis:
He came out swinging, so we had to give them good marks, but neither one of us, because I'm good cop, you're bad cop. Let's be honest.

Steve Seid:
Is that right?

Kurt Dupuis:
Neither one of us really want to give everybody really high marks.

Steve Seid:
That's right.

Kurt Dupuis:
So we got to get more critical. So I think we were fair though.

Steve Seid:
I think we were fair.
Kurt Dupuis:
We were fair and we were genuine to Bill as he was genuine to us. I think it worked very well.

Steve Seid:
That's right. And the truth is he brought pretty good ideas.

Kurt Dupuis:
And he is known for this. This isn't just Joe Schmo that had a couple ideas he's known in his world with his colleagues, with his superiors as kind of... What is it called? The Diehl’s list or the Real Diehl’s list. It's got a reputation inside his orbit that he comes up with great ideas. And he brought the heat with us today.

Steve Seid:
So we'll get to that in segment two. And Kurt you and I, what are we going to kick around three ideas apiece and we're not going to rate each other. This is kind of just, hey, here's what I'm thinking about for 2021 for business development.

Kurt Dupuis:
We're going to call it thinker-sizing. We're going to thinker-size some ideas around business development. How so you feel about that?

Steve Seid:
Wow. That's a word right there. I'm very appreciative of that. Do you want to go first? Do you want to kick us off?

Kurt Dupuis:
I'll take the first swing. So I just started writing a bunch of stuff down. So I would say some are kind of in the tips category or like things to think about. And then some are like actionable, high things to do today. My first idea is an extension of what we talk a fair bit about which is about niche marketing. Finding a niche, catering your message to that niche, creating your entire ecosystem of both marketing and service around that niche. And you can have multiple niches, but. So I had the idea of owning the entire supply chain of that niche.

Kurt Dupuis:
I feel like I should just explain that a little bit. So many people are focused on they want like the million dollar client today, but sometimes there's value in coaching people up getting in early. So the thought is if doctors or any sort of medical professionals are part of your niche, you should do anything and everything you can to be part of their development when they're in med school, when they're in pharmacy school, do free education to educate them, first of all.

Kurt Dupuis:
I mean, my wife's a pharmacist. She tells stories about people get their first job out of school and they go out and buy a really nice Mercedes and that... They're not all very financially literate. So if you can get them early, get them to be good savers, you get a lot of HENRYs with that as well. High Earners, Not Rich Yet folks that probably have an appropriate level of service for them that you can kind of coach up over the years. And so it's just finding people with money before they have money and then just being part and creating a brand within that world. What do you think about that?

Steve Seid:
So actually, that surprised me because that's not where I thought you were going to go. I love that idea, which is if you're focused on a segment, figure out early on how to get in front of those people before others do. That's a genius idea. I was thinking like let's say I'm focused on some company, let's also talk about the suppliers and the stakeholders that are around that. That's where I thought you were going to go.

Kurt Dupuis:
No.

Steve Seid:
No. But I love your idea. I think that's an awesome thing to think about. So if you have a niche, think about not just how do you target those people, but how do you actually get in earlier with those people?

Steve Seid:
Okay. I'll throw out one, which is a challenge for folks in our community, “Speaking Engagements”. identify three or four places where you can go and speak. My point is, if you are not out there speaking and creating interesting topics that people want to hear, set that up. Let's do three or four of them. What do you think about that?

Kurt Dupuis:
What you're tapping into is low financial literacy rates. So if you can just go out there and you're speaking to an audience on a subject, you're going to know way more than them about, you're seen as a professional.

Steve Seid:
Listen, I know that's a vague thing to say. What I'm focusing on is the right activities. Are we doing the right activities through the year? And if you're like, "Oh man, where would I speak?" Or "What would I speak about?" Well, you know what that forces you to do? Is to think about that and to develop that and up your game.

Kurt Dupuis:
So I got a good next one then.

Steve Seid:
Good.

Kurt Dupuis:
So find something you love and spend money on it. So what I mean by that is a lot of people almost have writer's block when it comes to marketing. It's like, "Where do I start? Where do I begin?" There's all, there's email, there's social media, there's seminars, there's this that... What matters is what you really enjoy, because if you're passionate about it and you're good at it, money and clients will follow.

Steve Seid:
That's right.

Kurt Dupuis:
I think there's this unique combination where if you have the passion for it and you spend some dollars on it, that's really like fast and furious hitting the nitrous oxide button for getting new clients. So whether it's doing speaking engagements with your niche, or the supply chain idea, whether it's doing public speaking for charities or for educational organizations or for professional organizations. I just think if you find something you really love or the kind of marketing that you love and you spend some money, put some dollars behind it, that's a really potent strategy.

Steve Seid:
It's kind of related to one that I was going to talk about, which was volunteering. I mean, it's one of the best things and most productive things I've ever done was to get involved with volunteering. I mean, I met my wife that way. I met so many great people just doing that. And that's a good example of like, I'm going to be doing this anyway. I'm not there to drive this, but there's all these other benefits. But is that kind of what you're talking about? Or is there another example you use?

Kurt Dupuis:
I think that's a great one, but where my mind goes immediately is LinkedIn, which gives me another nice little segue. I mean, I think LinkedIn can be very powerful to a financial professional’s practice, very powerful. But a lot of folks aren't into it. And so I guess I'm also saying do something you love as strong as I'm saying, don't do stuff you don't love because you can't limp into something like LinkedIn. I was talking to a team last week where it's like, look, let's just get like a 10-20 minute routine every day just like you do on Facebook, Twitter, anything else you got to put in time on the platform to see any benefit from the platform. So if that's your thing, double down and really use LinkedIn. And if you want to ideas how to get started there, reach out. We're happy to help. But if that's not your thing, then don't do that because your lack of passion and excitement about it is eventually going to come through.

Steve Seid:
So your point is find what you like and then just go at it big time. And that's investment of time. It's investment of resources. Okay. I'll share my number two idea which is niche marketing again. Which is to develop stories. Another way of saying that is proof statements for that specific niche. So if I'm, for example, going after consumer marketing company, wouldn't it separate me if I had real cases of me working with those people and here's what we did. And so it's just so much more targeted. And ultimately what we're trying to do is say, "Listen, I've worked with a lot of people that are like you. And here's what we talk about." I just think the more you can get out of the generic and into the specific, I just think it's more impactful.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's one of them that we talked with Mary Beth specificity is better than generality. And then we talking with Ben about the challenger sale. When you know a niche really well, you can anticipate both the challenges, but also the experiences that these people are going through. And that puts you in that much better position to captivate their attention.

Steve Seid:
Yes. As opposed to the generic. Okay, cool. You want to do one more piece?

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. So I ran across a stat that's from CEG Worldwide. So it's a nationwide association of coaches, professional and business coaches. That said 87% of million dollar producers had a written out business plan to include their marketing plan for the year, in contrast, 7% of those that had under $100,000 in production had a written down plan. So the point is, don't just have ideas. And look, hand up; I'm guilty of this all the time, but write down a plan and stick to it, and reference it weekly, monthly, quarterly, because it gives you a document that you and others can help hold you accountable, right? So if you're halfway through the year and you talk about your plan for the year, and you've only done three out of the 10 things, you're like, “My  bad, that's on me. Let's course correct for the second half of the year." There's just a level of accountability there that you don't have if you don't write it down.

Steve Seid:
Completely agree with everything you just said, and much of the coaching work that I do is precisely what you just said, which is helping people think through and execute. The accountability word is huge in what you just said, the only other thing I would add is: not just outcomes, but also activities. So it's not just to say, "Hey, we want to drive this much in business, this much in net new households, et cetera." It really is like, "What are the activities and the strategies that are going to get you there, and get down to the granular level. So I completely agree. And my third one's going to build off that, what I'm going to advise my teams to do is to create consistency in business development, and to create structure in business development.

So what does that mean? Are we going to use specific time blocking for business development? "I'm going to each week spend X number of hours on business development, they are going to be this, and unless my house is on fire, that is what I'm going to do." And I also put in my notes, pipelines, so to create that sort of operational structure to ensure that we're doing this work, and ensure that we spent the right amount of time on those activities.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. We've hit on that before too; financial professionals using prospect pipelines. It's almost unheard of, so few people do it, and if you're not using something like that, how much stuff can fall through the cracks.

Steve Seid:
Since it was related, I'm going to throw one sort of bonus one out there, and this is like a half-baked idea.

Kurt Dupuis:
You always were an overachiever.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I don't know, I'm almost challenging myself to figure this out this year, but so much is going on with technology and different sites, and different ways that people gather, everyone talks about LinkedIn and they talk about Facebook. There's got to be some universes, or that's probably the wrong word, but where people gather and engage some technology that other financial professionals just are not on there or thinking about, because LinkedIn is great, but there's a million other financial professionals in there. There's got to be some places where you can get involved and engaged, and you're kind of the only one there.

In all my interests, whether it's the sports teams I follow, whether it's educational, there's communities, and within those communities, there's ways that people engage with each other. And there's probably communities out there that are being underserved, where if you're a member of that community, you can like anything else, right? It's another type of niche, what can we do that's different, as opposed to just running with the herd of what everybody else is doing? 

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay, but two thoughts, first of all, very, very few people do LinkedIn well.

Steve Seid:
I'm not beating up LinkedIn. I just think there's probably some things that people are missing, but I interrupted you, what was the second part?

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, the second part is you got to go where people are, and people are on Twitter and Instagram and these things that exist. People use all of these various social media platforms, so you have to go, but at the end of the day, if nothing else, even if you are just connected with your existing clients, it's going to produce deeper engagement with those clients. And what is deeper engagement with clients? It's going to produce more referral opportunities, and more stickiness for the clients you have.

Steve Seid:
I completely agree with that, but where else can I go where people are gathering that other financial professionals aren't thinking about?" That was all. I think there's momentum gathering in all kinds of different areas in tech where, you could be an early adopter and be somebody for that market. But anyways, that's enough, I've sort of belabored that point. So there's six legitimate ideas from Kurt and I, and one half-

Kurt Dupuis:
Maybe six and a quarter?

Steve Seid:
Yeah, six and a quarter. And then, when we come back next, we're going to talk with Bill and he'll give you another five. So, if my math is correct, that's 11 and change business development ideas that you can choose from. We'll be back shortly with our friend, the Real Diehl, Bill Diehl.

END OF PART 1 of 3

Steve Seid:
And we're very, very delighted to be joined by Mr. Bill Diehl, who I'm told, we're supposed to call you the Real Diehl, is that right? Is that the appropriate nomenclature?

Bill Diehl:
That's that's right. Whatever you prefer, Steve.

Kurt Dupuis:
So we should say, "The myth, the man, the legend, and the Real Diehl, Mr. Bill Diehl."

Bill Diehl:
It's wonderful to be on your podcast today. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Steve Seid:
Of course. Yeah, Bill is a member of our community. He's been listening to the show. He's been engaging with us with ideas. He actually is under the same roof as we are, and he is an associate at one of our sister companies, and, so one of the main reasons we had Bill on is, he's got a little bit of a niche, in that he consistently comes up with business development ideas for the financial professionals that he serves. We're going to have him share a couple of ideas, and similar to what we did with our internals, a couple episodes back, we're going to judge him. We're going to give him the thumbs up, the thumbs down, the thumb sideways, have a little fun, but obviously the goal of this is to come out with some great business development ideas.

So let's start off, Bill, how'd you hear about the show?

Bill Diehl:
Well, I first heard about your podcast last summer, I was on vacation. So my girlfriend and I, we took a trip, have you ever been to Mackinac Island up in Northern Michigan?

Kurt Dupuis:
I don't know if I could even say that?

Bill Diehl:
It was a long drive and I thought, "Well, this is the perfect time to listen to some of your podcasts." We listened to each one of them. And then, I think we had another one to listen to, and then we got up to Northern Michigan, and on this Island we went to, Mackinac Island, you have to take a ferry across to the Island, and it's all horse and buggy, so we were no longer in the car, so we weren't able to listen to that next episode until the way back. But we've thoroughly enjoyed them. And I would also like to just give a shout out to all of our agents that know me, and thanks for having me on, and I hope that they will start listening to your podcast.

Kurt Dupuis:
Very cool. But how did you hear about it originally? So, I'm glad to hear that we didn't put you asleep on that long drive up to Northern Michigan. So that's always comforting, but what was the first time you ever heard about us or the podcast?

Bill Diehl:
I believe I received an email, it was probably last June, and I'm like, "Wow, that is a great idea just to... We've been in this virtual environment since March, and I think it's just great to stay connected with ideas, ways we can help advisors grow their practice during these times."

Steve Seid:
Let's transition a little bit to the business development list. You're kind of known for this for bringing financial professionals, business development ideas. How did this start?

Bill Diehl:
This is really just the way I do business. I'm always trying to find ways to help people grow their practice.

Steve Seid:
And so, you just started compiling it one day. You're like, "Hey, listen, a challenge in the industry is growth. It's probably pretty impactful if I figured out how to help these people grow the business." Is that fair to say?

Bill Diehl:
Absolutely. So I put together a list of prospecting ideas, and just recently I wanted to come up with additional ideas that I think that would have a big impact in this virtual environment. So, that's really what I've been focusing on.

Kurt Dupuis:
Definitely during the pandemic, the chasm between those that are growing and those that are not only seems to be getting wider. So we've teed you up a little bit about kind of the scoring system, but just so we're clear, remember if there's a “Seid”ways, I mean, really he's giving you a thumbs down. So, you want to avoid the sideways at all costs, because he's secretly judging you if he gives you a sideways thumb.

Steve Seid:
That's fair.

Bill Diehl:
Absolutely. I'm ready.

Steve Seid:
Bill soo, your list is about 10 business development ideas at any given time, right?

Bill Diehl:
That's right.

Steve Seid:
We'll ask them to go through five of his best. We'll do our little evaluation that we love to do. And then if anybody wants the full list, they can reach out to us at thewholetruthth@touchestonefunds.com, and we'll give you Bill's contact information at the end. So maybe let's just dive right in. Give us your best idea and we will evaluate it.

Bill Diehl:
All righty, I'm ready to get started. So the first prospecting idea would be to uncover rollover opportunities in your area by identifying companies that have had mass layoffs and plant closings. So here's what you can do. You can Google W-A-R-N, and that stands for Worker Adjustment Retraining Notice. So Google W-A-R-N and then hyphen your state, so Kentucky, Ohio, California, Louisiana, whatever state you're in. And it will list companies that recently had mass layoffs and plant closings. And I think to be able to provide a list of companies that recently laid off employees can lead to rollover opportunities. Also, think about life insurance opportunities as well.  

Kurt Dupuis:
I mean that's such a target rich environment for financial professionals. This really exists on the interwebs?

Bill Diehl:
Absolutely, and it goes back several years.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's really cool. A target rich environment, something that is actionable. You could work this in with an intern, do it yourself, just run this every six months, see where this is happening. That critical junction in life, where people are, you know, in professional transition is oftentimes a really good opportunity to transfer to a new financial professional or look for one for the first time. That's two thumbs up Bill. That's a great idea.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I was thinking, is this going to be the right pool of people that you want to target? But I don't see why not. So I think I'm definitely given that a thumbs up. I completely agree. Bill, have you had people actually do it or is this something you've come up with recently? I'd be curious to, to the results of doing this.

Bill Diehl:
This is something I just discovered. I've just been letting people know about it. And I would love to hear success stories.

Steve Seid:
A new idea. Not that many people doing it. I'd love for some of our audience members to do that. So Bill, you came out hot. That was a good one, two thumbs up from both of us. Let's hit number two.

Bill Diehl:
Okay. Number two is create a video to introduce yourself to your prospects. So keep it simple. This could be a short video, introducing yourself to a new prospect and encouraging them to set up an appointment. Or it could also be just a way to check in with your existing clients. So recently back in September, I sold my house.

So I had my house on the market last year and I took it off the market. As soon as I took it off the market, I had about 20 real estate agents reach out to me by mail and by phone. And a couple of them, a few of them even sent me a personalized handwritten note. However, only one sent me a video. Only one sent me a video and I was able to see and hear that person. I was really able to make a connection and they did a very good job of conveying to me why they were different. And I was so impressed the next time I took their call. So I ended up using this real estate agent over a good friend of mine and my house sold within 48 hours. So, I think that personal connection by doing a short video just to introduce yourself really makes a tremendous impact.

Steve Seid:
You didn't hire the good friend of yours? Are they still a good friend of yours after this?

Bill Diehl:
They are. They didn't make the video. They didn't get the job done.

Steve Seid:
Wow.

Kurt Dupuis:
So what you're saying, the video in your case, this helped open the door. This did not close the deal in and of itself, but it opened the door and there was a big enough crack for them to walk through, tell you about their services, why they were better. And that's interesting. So, for our audience, I have a few questions. I love video content. I think it's, it's a real differentiator now. I think going forward, it's going to be critical for financial professionals to just display themselves to connect with people like you said, to put themselves out there. How would you envision financial professionals using this? Would this be part of an email campaign? Is this LinkedIn, something on their website?

Bill Diehl:
I would say just reach out to your existing clients as well, just to check in with them. Make a short video, just let them know how much you appreciate them. And then also, with your prospects, people that instead of cold calling, I think this is another method that is much more effective because you can put a face to a name. And really, I would rather watch a video than read an email or check a voicemail. So it's something that, that people just are not doing, but I think it's extremely effective.

Steve Seid:
When I first heard him going through it, I thought you were going to get a sideways. Because I thought, "Okay, is this something that's really going to check the box of business development, going to bring business in the door?" But I sort of think you're right that despite the fact that video technology is everywhere, I don't know that this is being done on a mass scale. When you told the story of the real estate agents and how only one did it, Kurt is my assumption wrong that's probably the case with financial professionals reaching out? It's at this point only the minority that are doing it via video.

Kurt Dupuis:
Absolutely.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. So I got to give that a thumbs up too. I think the runway is probably not super long because I think at some point it's going to be something that everyone does, but something to do over the next few months, put together a video, bring that into your prospecting. That can't hurt.

Kurt Dupuis:
I think you're two for two, Bill. You got two thumbs up on both of them, man. Those are great-

Steve Seid:
Two thumbs up.

Bill Diehl:
All righty. Well, I'm not finished yet. You ready for the next one?

Steve Seid:
I'm ready. Let's do it.

Bill Diehl:
Okay. Number three, look at your checkbook and credit card statement. See who gets your business and then earn your money back by asking them to do business with you. I'll have to admit, I first heard about this idea about 20 years ago. I was working for a national brokerage firm at the time. And have you ever had a root canal?

Kurt Dupuis:
Thank God, no.

Steve Seid:
I have not.

Bill Diehl:
Okay. That's a good thing because what I have to say, it's very painful and it's very expensive. I went to the dentist and I had to have a root canal and it was very painful, very expensive. So I decided that I was going to earn my money back. So I approached the dentist the next week. I had a good relationship with him.

Bill Diehl:
I'd known him for many, many years. And ended up setting up a retirement plan for his entire office. That's just one that it came across my desk 20 years ago. And I thought, "You know what? I'm going to do that. I'm going to look at my credit card statement and my bank account statement." And I had just been to the dentist and I decided this is a perfect opportunity to earn my money back and actually earn more than the cost of that root canal.

Steve Seid:
What's your take on this Kurt? I'm curious how that strikes you.

Kurt Dupuis:
I think there's a couple of benefits to this. So first of all, as Bill puts it, you sort of get the money back. As a frugal Cajun, I like that idea. But I think what also that way of thinking does is it connects you with the community even more than you already would be, right? It makes a lot of logical and intuitive sense. For that, I'm giving it a thumbs up.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, I'm going to give this ... this is going to be the first sideways. Here's why you get the first sideways. Because I think for a portion of the audience, it's a great idea. For another portion, they're probably not going to want to cross that threshold or it's even going to be the right market. So I think it's a very good idea. Just because I don't know that it will be universal, I'm going to give a sideways, but for a lot of folks listening, it's still probably a pretty decent thing to think about. Now, let me ask you this, Bill, as you've had this conversation with your folks, are you find that they don't think that way, or they have trouble encroaching that territory or making that transition? What prevents people from doing this in your experience?

Bill Diehl:
As I tell more and more people about this, I think a lot of them will give this a try. Like I said, the first time I heard this, I'm like, "I'm not sure if this is going to work." Just from my own experience. I was kind of like you, Steve, sideways. But I thought, "You know what? I'm going to take a look at this. I'm going to do this exercise. I'm going to open my credit card statement. Take a look at how I've spent my money in my checkbook."

Steve Seid:
Yeah, it's not bad.

Bill Diehl:
And it just so happened that it worked. So I encourage people to give it a try and see what happens.

Kurt Dupuis:
So as I'm thinking more about this. So I'm just thinking in my community, there's independent coffee shops, independent gift shops, independent bakeries. Those are all folks that financial professionals would want to have some sort of relationship with. So, Seid, you and your wall notwithstanding because if people don't want to bridge that wall up to them, that's fine. But if you want to be more involved with your community and have those more intra business and interpersonal relationships, I think it's golden. Well done, Bill.

Steve Seid:
Kurt actually just convinced me.

Bill Diehl:
Ha Ha Thank you Kurt!

Steve Seid:
He's exactly right. I think what was holding me up is, there are probably circumstances where it's not appropriate and you don't want to complicate it, but you don't have to. You could just be choosy about it. This is why I have a podcast with Kurt, Bill. Because in a lot of ways…

Kurt Dupuis:
Yin and Yang

Steve Seid:
…he helps me think better. But here we are again-

Bill Diehl:
So, we're three for three?

Steve Seid:
It's three for three, which is not ... you got two left and we can't even allow someone to come on and be 100%.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. You better bring it in now, Bill. He's not going to give you five and oh.

Steve Seid:
We're going to get tougher, man.

Kurt Dupuis:
All right, let's keep going.

Bill Diehl:
I still have two more left. So let's see what you think about the next one. So number four is host a shredding event at your office. Invite clients to bring documents in need of destruction. So think about it. This could be old tax returns. Now everybody has old information, brokerage account statements, bank account statements, and then you can rent a special equipped truck. There's a special truck that can shred all the documents on site. And I think right now with COVID, you could even make this a drive-through event. So I think that would work really well. People could just drive up and drop off their documents without even getting out of the car. And I've known some people that have done this and they've had great success.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay. So I'm going to be the heavy here, and I'm going to give you a sideways only because I have a client that has done this exact same thing. But it's a hit, it's a huge hit, it's a big annual event that everyone looks forward to. It's more of a party that we happen to shred documents. And they do, I think, shredded pork too. So they take the pun as far as it'll go. So I like the idea, but because I've heard it before, I'm going to give you sideways.

Bill Diehl:
Okay.

Steve Seid:
How do you-

Bill Diehl:
Fair enough.

Steve Seid:
That's harsh. That's harsh. It was a good idea, but I heard it before-

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, so now I'm harsh?

Steve Seid:
... so I'm giving you sideways? All right. That's fair. Well, let me ask you this question. How does this translate to business development? So how do we get new people in? I could see why it'd be useful to clients, but how does it pertain to business development?

Bill Diehl:
I believe anytime you have any type of event, just calling people to check in with them and let them know you're going to be having an event at your office, that always leads to opportunities for sales. Now  by having an event like this, people are bringing their tax returns, they're bringing their bank account statements. I think it's a great opportunity to ask them, "How can we help you?" And I've always found that just by having any type of event, it will lead to opportunities to increase your business.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I'm going to give you a sideways too. I think it's a great idea. I think what would make it better and could easily do a thumbs up is like, how do we get prospects in? I think there's probably some way you could do some kind of advertising or social media work where it's like, hey, we can get people that are not clients through there. And if you could check that box, I think it's a great idea.

Bill Diehl:
Absolutely.

Steve Seid:
We're down to the last one. Let's hear it Bill. What's the clean hitter?

Bill Diehl:
Alrighty.

Kurt Dupuis:
The showstopper. Here we go.

Bill Diehl:
Number five. I'm very excited about this one. This is the Polk Directory. Are you familiar with the Polk Directory? P-O-L-K? This is a directory, you can actually go to your local library branch and you're able to take a look at it. I would really advise that you subscribe to this so you can go on their website. And this directory, it allows you to sort by geographical location, household income, age, gender, whether or not they own a home or not, but it also allows you to search for people that have a particular hobby, okay? Or interest such as photography, travel, cooking, outdoor recreational activities. It could be health and fitness, quilting, fine arts, sports, just to name a few. But I think this is a great prospecting tool if you're looking to organize a client event around a particular hobby or interest.

So I'll give you an example. I heard of an advisor in Florida that did an event where they served appetizers from a five-star restaurant, so a local restaurant that's well-known in your community. So they used this directory, the Polk Directory to invite clients that had an interest in gourmet cooking. Okay? So they're serving appetizers from this five-star restaurant, so they created a list using this directory that they subscribed to online for clients that have an interest in gourmet cooking, they invited them to come. And so I think that's a great way, you can kind of use this to find people that have a particular hobby and then have a client event around that interest. And they also have a search function that will list people who just purchased a home. And I think this is great because they may be new in town. Perhaps they do not have an advisor, they need to find an advisor in their local community, or perhaps they just downsized and they have some extra cash. So that's my number five.

Steve Seid:
How is this populated? What is this directory compiling information from?

Bill Diehl:
They get this information from a number of sources. If you buy something at the store and you fill out the warranty information, then they may know, okay, you're really into boating or you're really into skiing. So they get their data from all types of sources around the country. And I believe, I took a look at this, even talked to somebody at the Polk Directory-

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh really?

Bill Diehl:
And very impressed. And I will have to say, I believe that it's never going to be 100% accurate, okay? But I'd say it's up there. At least 85, 90% from what I could tell.

Kurt Dupuis:
And this is a way to buy leads, is what it is?

Bill Diehl:
Exactly. Exactly.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay. So you're saying in libraries, you might have access to this free of charge, but I mean, I'm looking at online and there's one for Athens, Georgia that has 75,000 individuals in it, I guess, with all of this information sorted.

Bill Diehl:
Yeah. You can sort by city, you can sort by neighborhood. I mean, it's very extensive, all 50 states.

Kurt Dupuis:
Do you have any idea of what these things would cost?

Bill Diehl:
It's going to be about a hundred dollars a month.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, so the 1984 in me is skeptical of how this information is sourced, why it's available at the library. But if this, I mean, assuming this is true, that's phenomenal for lead generation. I mean, and email marketing and even physical mail marketing is not for everyone, but if you wanted to drill down and get good lists, kind of top of the funnel marketing activities, I think this is a great resource to know about. And the only Polk I knew about were I'm pretty sure I had some Polk speakers in my old Toyota in high school, but that's the only Polk that I was aware of.

Steve Seid:
Kurt, what's your rating on this one?

Kurt Dupuis:
This is where I wish we had a star rating rather than a three-tiered way. Because it's like, to me it's a sideways with... it's like a four out of five stars if I was going to give it an Amazon review. So let me just completely change the structure.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. It's like we don't know enough. It could be five stars, it could absolutely be thumbs up.

Kurt Dupuis:
Exactly.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
Or it could be so cumbersome that people wouldn't actually use it and get any benefit from. So I could see it going both ways. As an idea though... So as an idea, I think it's a thumbs up. It would require more digging and maybe that's something that we can do and play around with.

Bill Diehl:
And I think this day and age, when we're doing more virtual events, think about it. You could have a topic around a particular hobby or interest and invite your clients to this, but also have a specific list of clients that you can obtain from the Polk Directory.

Kurt Dupuis:
It would require a little bit more of a think to put through a strategy on how to utilize this, but I had no idea this existed. It's very interesting to me, so I like it.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I'm going to make the assumption that the data source is on point, that the data is good, and that it works and that it's easy to use. And because I will make those assumptions, I'm going to give it a thumbs up. Because if it does, if this is usable, that's an awesome idea. Where do we end up, Kurt? Four out of five thumbs up and one sideways, or did we do all five?

Kurt Dupuis:
I think Bill now-

Steve Seid:
Maybe a four.

Kurt Dupuis:
... holds the award for the best score on our really elementary scoring system. Congratulations, Bill.

Bill Diehl:
Oh, I feel honored.

Steve Seid:
These are great ideas, man. And are you consistently updating this? Are you just always digging into this stuff and trying to find new ideas?

Bill Diehl:
I just recently updated these. Probably about eight years ago, I came up with a list of about 21 ideas. So I have many, many more, maybe a future podcast, but I wanted to really zero down on the ones that I believe are relevant in this day and age. So I created 10 ideas that I think are very relevant that you can use in 2021 to help grow your practice.

Steve Seid:
That's fantastic. We really appreciate you coming on the show, for listening, for spreading the word. Kurt, he did a stand up presentation to his whole company over there about our podcast. Did you know that?
Kurt Dupuis:
I didn't.

Bill Diehl:
I saw your podcast and I remember thinking, wow, I don't think I could ever do anything like this. Here I am today on your podcast.

Steve Seid:
That's awesome.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's just awesome, Bill. It's just talking.

Steve Seid:
Well, we appreciate your time. We appreciate you being a part of our community. We're going to come back with our Costanza Corner. This is The Whole Truth, stick with us.

Kurt Dupuis:
And welcome back to the whole truth where we like to end on a high note. So we are in Costanza Corner. where we're going to share a fun, uplifting, or inspiring story to close out the day. Seid, you're up. What you got today, bud?

Steve Seid:
This is a fun one. You're going to like this one. So imagine you're sitting in your house, and this guy was in Indonesia. And all of a sudden-

Kurt Dupuis:
Given the past year, I can imagine sitting in my house perfectly.

Steve Seid:
Yes. So you're sitting in your house like everyone else, and all of a sudden you hear this huge boom explosion. And the guy described it as it sounded like there was a bomb going off right outside the house. And literally he looked up and something had crashed through his house. So he's sitting there, he hears this explosion, all of a sudden there's a huge hole in his house. So you think that's going to be a pretty bad day, like someone just destroyed my house.

Kurt Dupuis:
It sounds like Santa has been hitting the eggnog pretty hard.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, there you go. So I'll read it to you. It wasn't a typical day, but that's exactly what happened to a 33 year old Indonesian coffin maker, he was making a coffin. So this story is just like, I don't, I can't even deal with it, but it's hilarious. I was working on a coffin near the street in front of my house when I heard this booming sound that made my house shake, blah, blah, blah. It was as if a tree had fallen over us. Well, here's what happened. Weighing at roughly four and a half pounds, there was a meteorite that crashed through his house. The scientists put this meteorite as being 4 billion years old. So weird, crazy story.

Kurt Dupuis:
Wow.

Steve Seid:
But here's the good news part of it. The meteorite had some... it was like minerals and what whatever's in this. There's a really long term for what was this meteorite was made of.

Kurt Dupuis:
You're not going to take a stab out of the scientific name of this thing?

Steve Seid:
I'm not going to. If you want to, you can Google it. But it was super valuable. So this thing crashed through his house and he's going to sell it. The estimate is for $2 million.

Kurt Dupuis:
What?

Steve Seid:
That's how valuable the meteor was that crashed into his house. Is that a great story or what? I was just like, holy cow, that is super cool.

Kurt Dupuis:
When you were going with this and you said this was going to be fun, I realized how dark my sense of humor can be sometimes because I thought maybe it was going to hit him and plow him over into the coffin that he was making.

Steve Seid:
And into his coffin, that would also be funny.

Kurt Dupuis:
But no-

Steve Seid:
That would also be funny.

Kurt Dupuis:
Instead, he just had a $2 million meteorite fall into his house.

Steve Seid:
Payday, yeah. So that's pretty awesome.

Kurt Dupuis:
Wow. That's very cool.

Steve Seid:
So that's my story for the day. We'll see you guys next time.

Kurt Dupuis:
You can find The Whole Truth and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. We'd love it if you took the time to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts, it helps others find the show. And for more episodes of The Whole Truth, go to www.touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. That's touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth, all one word.

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